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Not Sanctioning Saudi Prince in Khashoggi Murder ‘Dangerous,’ UN Expert Says

A United Nations human rights investigator called the United States’ decision to call out the Saudi Arabian crown prince as the person who approved the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi and then to not sanction him as “extremely dangerous.”

Agnes Callamard told reporters on Monday that the US had released very little material evidence about the 2018 killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018, which he had entered to collect documents for his upcoming marriage.

“It is extremely problematic, in my view, if not dangerous, to acknowledge someone’s culpability and then to tell that someone ‘but we won’t do anything, please proceed as if have we have said nothing’,” Callamard, special rapporteur on summary executions who led the UN investigation into Khashoggi’s murder, said during a news conference in Geneva. “There are many things that the U.S. government can do. The one thing it cannot do – it cannot do – is to be silent and take no action on their findings,” Callamard also said.

A declassified US intelligence report made public on Friday that said that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, ordered the killing and coverup.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters during a press briefing on Monday that the Biden Administration is “very focused on future conduct, and that is part of why we have cast this not as a rupture but a recalibration. We are trying to get to the system – systemic issues underlying the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.”